Friday, January 31, 2020

2019 Downtown Murals Project, 4 of 4: Critters on a bike

If you're driving southbound on Stone just before 6th Street, look fast through a parking lot between the buildings:

Joe Pagac painted another bicycle-themed mural, the year before, almost across the street: the huge Epic Bikes mural. The animals there are riding bicycles, too, but probably not as fast as the roadrunner and his two passengers:

November 30, 2019, was a gray day. So I used my favorite free photo editor, GIMP, to make the mural look sunny.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2019 Downtown Murals Project, 3 of 4: Not a Little One

The scene on this block used to be boring… until last spring:

Jessica Gonzales painted this long mural on two businesses: The Little One restaurant, at the left side (its storefront is at 151 N. Stone) and Suntran Special Services. Here are those two halves:

(As always, you can click for bigger views.) The credits are on a sign in the middle of the right side:

I took the photos on November 24, 2019.

We'll wrap up this series next time with another of Joe Pagac's bicycle-themed murals.

Friday, January 24, 2020

2019 Downtown Murals Project, 2 of 4: La Madre

Racheal Rios and Carlos Valenzuela painted that dreamy scene above two benches just across the sidewalk from Alameda Street. It's not much like the original design, which you can see (unless the photos have been updated) in the pages Downtown Tucson is getting 4 new murals this spring (from the Arizona Daily Star's This is Tucson).

David Aber caught the mural painting in progress on May 4th, 2019, when the title he heard was “Families Belong Together, Water and Thorns”:

(As always, you can click on a photo for larger views of all of them.)

The two benches are surrounded by scenes with “you are my other me” in English and Spanish:

The credits are on the side of the right-hand bench:

Next time, it's down the street a block to two side-by-side murals.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2019 Downtown Murals Project, 1 of 4: Danger! ¡Piñatas!

Ever been chased by a piñata? Ignacio Garcia's mural in the alley near The UPS Store on Sixth Avenue was inspired by a childhood memory of being chased by bulls on a family trip to Redington, Arizona. It's also the opposite concept of hitting a piñata, he said. Those quotes are from the This is Tucson article Downtown Tucson is getting 4 new murals this spring. The article also shows the whole mural from Ignacio's design, which is good because the narrow alley makes it just about impossible to photograph the whole thing head-on. [Note from 2022: See the update at the end of this post.]

On April 16th, 2019, I caught Ignacio painting the right (east) end of the mural:

A story by KGUN9 TV, The making of a mural: what's in the works in downtown Tucson, says the boy is from a picture of Garcia's 8-year-old son.

Fast-forward to November 24th. Here's the mural, which was finished in the spring:

A couple of closer shots:

See how one of his flip-flops has flown into the air and that there's a shadow behind it? There's also a shadow of the power pole near the end of the alley.

And last, the credits:

Next time, the second of four from the 2019 Downtown Murals Project.

Update (February 22, 2022): BG Boyd Photography, which specializes in drone photography, sent this aerial photos taken on February 14th:
He sent a second photo, taken from straight above, that I edited with my favorite photo editor GIMP to make it appear as if you're directly in front of the mural:
(As always, you can click for a larger view.)

Thanks, BG!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Ted DeGrazia by Danny Martin

A year ago, the wall of 191 East Toole near the parking lot looked like this:

(The photo is from our January 4, 2019 entry.)

On November 24, 2019, the front half of the wall had changed:

The marquee is in the style of the Rialto Theatre on Congress Street, but with “191 E Toole” instead. The mural of Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia is by Tucson artist Danny Martin:

Update (August 19, 2020): The Rialto-style marquee has been repainted all “Black Lives Matter”.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tucson High murals revisited, part 2

Last time, we saw murals along 8th Street, just west of Euclid. The photo below shows the edge of those murals at the left, and a new mural along Euclid on the right:

Here's the lonngggg new mural:

Now closer, from left (south) to right (north):

Even closer to some fun parts:

And the credits at the right end:

I wandered back and forth on November 24, 2019.

Update (June 18, 2022): BG Boyd Photography contributes many of their aerial mural photos to this blog. (Much appreciated, BG.) Here's one I got today:

Friday, January 10, 2020

Tucson High murals revisited, part 1

May 20, 2009, we posted a couple of photos of a mural along 8th Street, just west of Euclid. Back then, the blog didn't always show all of a mural or set of murals… instead, we'd show a couple and hope that you'd visit in person. With hindsight, I've realized that it's good to show everything — if only because the mural might be gone some day.

When I saw a new mural on Euclid just north of 8th, I thought back to the entry ten years ago and wondered if we'd covered everything. Not even close! Before I took those photos, there were four sections of murals being made along that stretch of 8th. Here's a Google Street View from January, 2008, looking west from Euclid along 8th:

So I went back on November 29, 2019, to photograph whatever was there now. There's a lot! Let's start with a view from the west end, along 8th, looking toward Euclid:

The first mural, at the left (west) end:

The second mural, then a closeup of its top left corner:

The third mural and its left side:

And the fourth mural (at the right end) and its left center:

Next time, we'll go around the corner to a new mural along Euclid.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020


Denver's River North Arts District, which everyone calls RiNo (pronounced like “Rhino”) is a big area — many city blocks — full of murals. Even the graffiti is (mostly) artistic! It's become a giant tourist attraction, full of stores, restaurants, bars… as well as trendy housing. Could Tucson do something a bit like this some day — though on a smaller scale, with a more southwestern theme? Should Tucson?

Here are a bunch of photos in no particular order (except the last). I took them on November 16th, 2019:

That last mural shows a non-glitzy resident facing a huge rhino labeled “ART” with people who may have different plans for RiNo. The caption at left reads:
Your “street-art” is wallpaper for gentrification…
You cannot colorize that which refuses to surrender…
You cannot kill that which refuses to die…